Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas Eve

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Our American Dynasty is a family composed of people from all walks of life, religious persuasions, and political preferences. By birth, we are members of a large extended community laboring through the challenges of life with our eyes set ahead. We work to provide for our own and feel a strong common goal to leave the world a better place for those who come after. We are anchored in this time and place by knowing of those who came before; strong pioneers who survived the best and worst of times.
This blog tells one American story. It's our story, the story of the Williamson's and Mattson's.

Ashly DelGrosso Costa and her family are part of our American Dynasty. Ashly is my niece, daughter of my sister Kim Williamson DelGrosso. This is her Relationship Chart, our way of celebrating and honoring those who've come before.

Ashly is a professional ballroom dancer, teacher, and coach. She appeared on season one of Dancing With the Stars. Ashly and Mike are documenting their family's American story in a YouTube Vlog. What better way to tell our family's Christmas 2015 story then to let them tell it, and better yet, show it.
The family Christmas Eve gathering starts at 4:49. Lots of fun before that so please enjoy the entire video. You can support Ashly and Mike by subscribing to the Vlog.


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas 2010. Mattson / Williamson Party. Christmas Eve. Christmas With the DelGrossos

Hello All,
In this Eve of Christmas Eve, I've decided to post two short videos from our Christmas of 2010.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Mattson / Williamson Family Christmas Gathering. 2015. A Decluttered Event Following the Nationwide Trend.

The All Wise Elders of the Clan
Bev, Luella, Charles (cleverly photoshopped in. He was at Walmart), and John
     The Mattson/Williamson yearly Christmas party was held yesterday at Center Stage Dance Studios in Orem, Utah. There were many absent. I suspect the usual excuses - ill health, out of town, couldn’t be bothered, depression, no longer identifying as a Mattson or Williamson, bored of seeing the same faces, bored of hearing the same stories, adverse to hugs and other public displays of familial relationships, was offended by someone last year and refused to attend to make a public statement of general disagreeableness, dentureslipophobia, fear of group bonding games, and having to ‘work’. The only family members with acceptable excuses were those long dead and buried. 

The holiday reunion was held in a modest venue.

     Which ended up being just the right size for our reserved yet regal gathering

     oops, wrong party...... wrong pictures......

     OK, got that problem solved. I got my party pictures mixed up. I get invited to too many holiday parties. After awhile they all blend together in my brain. 

     Here are the pictures for the Mattson / Williamson family party.   

     The holiday reunion was held in a modest venue, Center Stage Dance Studio in Orem. We were in Studio 4 next to the preschool's toilets. Jilane's preschool was right behind the double doors, which lent itself an excellent far away land to exile the little noise makers.  They ran wild and free while we conversed.  Luckily mom and I had our Hart's Super Big Gulps to sip on during those awkward lulls in conversation :)  

     Phones provided another source of distracted when needed.

     Kevin, Brooklyn, and Kenedee sat away from the main table. They were protective of their super deluxe pizza with extra cheese and pepperoni.  I was allowed to join them and indulged in a generous helping of free smells.  

      Luella was a bit camera shy at first, but soon warmed up.

     There was a children's table. This was the best I got from them when a "smile for the photo," was requested. They didn't know me from Adam, hence the stranger danger look.  

      It was a BYOP affair with two side tables reserved for sweets. A caesar salad paired with a vegetable tray added a bit of variety to the confections and pastries.  There is an old, well established belief in the Mattson / Williamson family that says the calories eaten from handfuls of cake, fudge, donuts, etc. can be halfed if you first help yourself to a quarter paper plate of cauliflower and / or broccoli, dipped deeply in a heavy dip.  

     Kevin and Kristin flew in from Nashville for other reasons AND made time for a fashionably late entrance to the family party. Kevin's thumbs up was his reaction to my wielding an iphone 6s. I was being congratulated for finally adapting to the 21st century. 

     Annette and Thane enjoyed their pizza while Annette tracked her 'Likes'. 

   Brandon and Monica were there along with all but one of their kids. Cameron was absent, using one of the excuses listed at the top of the page. Goose stared at his dad's salad wondering why they had to play the healthy card on that night of all nights. 

     Cheyenne, Val, and Kirk sat with Emily and Bev. I joined them after helping myself to the cauliflower and broccoli followed by an assortment of reduced calorie items. Kirk told tales of his adventures reffing college football. The pictures were great. 
     Camille complained about always being referred to as Kirk Mattson's sister.  "Everyone loves Kirk because he's a PAC 12 football ref," she mumbled. "His name is the one to drop if you're looking for your 5 minutes of relationship fame."
     I personally have no idea what she's talking about....

    By the way, did you know my first cousin is a PAC 12 football ref?   

     I thought I'd drop these couple of photos into the post just for reference......

     Getting back to the party - our medical conditions inevitably floated to the conversation's surface.  We went around the table sharing stories of medical procedures gone right and horribly wrong.  

     Taylar and Jilane.  Kirk was acting a bit weird. It had to be my new iPhone 6s, complete with deluxe protective cover and Verizon 4g nationwide coverage. 

     A good time was had by all.  Linda was on a downer for part of the night having forgotten to start the feast with a quarter paper plate of cauliflower and / or broccoli dipped deeply in a heavy dip. She was not happy with herself.  

     The Delgrossos sat mid table. Monica was exhausted by the end of the evening having to track conversations from both ends.  Brandon didn't seem to care.

The Paper Plate Contest
     Besides riveting conversation laced with clever puns and anecdotes, we had a draw the snowman competition. Annette captured several photos of the event which I stole from her Facebook page.

     Emily Mattson won with the best drawn snowman. Mine looked more like 'snowman' written in Chinese. It was the perfect game - fun without a lot of group bonding. 
 Executive Summary

     The family party this year was simple, easy, and fun. Let's face it, if we tried to get any more ambitious it just wouldn't happen. That's why I call it a decluttered event.  
     We don't see each other enough. Everyone is busy with their own lives, so having these rare get togethers is a blessing. A Thank you needs to be said to all who put it together. A special thank you to Kim and Jilane for providing the room. We missed all of you who couldn't make it and hope to see you all soon. 


Monday, December 21, 2015

Pictures from the Mattson Ranch Near Hammond, Montana. 1939-1942

The Walter Mattson Family, Montana 1939.
Violet, Luella, Walter

     I'm on Christmas vacation for two weeks. Without the work of 70 sixth graders to keep me busy, I've got time to do a few family history posts in my long neglected blog. 
     In today's virtual family gathering, we'll be travelling back to the old Mattson ranch near Hammond, Montana. The years are 1939 to 1943ish.  Hammond lies nearly halfway between Broadus, Montana and Belle Fourche, South Dakota. The Mattsons lost the ranch in the mid 1950's and moved to Belle Fourche, South Dakota. 

     This is Hammond, Montana.  Not much there today - about the same back in the day.  The one room schoolhouse where the Mattson siblings attended school is still standing though no longer in use.

The one room schoolhouse (right)

This is Luella Mattson at age three or four.  All the pictures in today's post come from Grandma Mattson's ranch photo album.  These are the last pictures to be posted from the album.  The others were posted in previous entries.  

Luella with her doll and cowboy boots.

Luella standing in the doorway.  She is the last of our family to have lived a portion of her life without electricity or indoor plumbing.  

These are the only pictures we have of baby Walter Mattson.  He was born in October 1940 and died of pneumonia in December of that same year.  

Luella holding her younger brother Walter shortly before his death in 1940.

Violet Mattson holding her daughter Luella

Luella with her two grandmothers. Grandma Vesta on the left and Grandma Ida on the right. 

Grandma Vesta with granddaughter Luella.

Luella on a cold Montana winter day.

Luella with her father Walter on the ranch.

Grandma Vesta, mother of Violet, grandmother to Luella.

    Grandma Violet holding her firstborn Luella outside the ranch house in Montana. Walter Mattson's parents are standing in the background.  Both John Albert Mattson and Ida Tornberg immigrated from Sweden in their early years. 
    Our family sprang from very humble origins.   


Violet Mattson with Luella

 Violet Mattson and Luella

 Violet Mattson with the family pets

Luella with Grandma Vesta.

Luella Mattson

Luella held by her father Walter Mattson.